Glacial Landscapes


4 Types of Cold Enviornment

1) Glacial- Permanently covered by ice

  • Glacier- Masses of ice that flow downhill. Two types = valley (fill entire valleys) and corrie (smaller and found in bowl shaped hollows high in mountains)
  • Ice Sheet- Domes of ice covering huge areas of that (e.g. antarctica)

2) Periglacial - Dry, high latitude areas, interior of continents. Constantly below freezinvg but not covered by ice. Contains layer of permafrost (permanently frozen ground)

3) Alpine- Cold areas at an altitude above the treeline (limit to which trees can grow). Always high altitude but any latitude

4) Polar- North Pole and South Pole

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1) Glacial

Where are they found?

  • Found at high altitudes and high latitudes

Description with Examples

  • High latitudes e.g. 60°. Ice sheet and Greenland both exist at this latitude. High altitudes (e.g. Himalayas) are only at a 30° latitude but are the highest in the world.


  • Interiors of continents. Very cold even at low latitudes however not enough snow to form glaciers.
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2) Periglacial

Where are they found?

  • The edges of polar or glacial enviroments

Description with examples

  • Relating to or denoting an area adjacent to a glacier or ice sheet or otherwise subject to repeated freezing and thawing (e.g. antarctica, vestfold hills, patriot hills)]


  • Are those that are in a cold climate typically near glacierised regions. Tundra is a common egological community in periglacial areas
  • Tundra comes from the finnish word "Tunturia" meaning treeless pain (as there are no trees)
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3) Alpine

Where are they found?

  • High altitudes and any latitude

Description with Examples

  • A type of natural region that does not contain trees due to its altitude. Trees are unable to grow due to both the cold and the wind


  • Alpine tundra occupies high mountain summits slopes and ridges above timberline. The cold climates caused b the lack of greenhouse effect at high altitude.
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4) Poles

Where are they found?

  • North/South Pole- furthest from equator

Description with examples

  • The poles are the most northern/southern points on the globe. They are the precise points of the intersection of the Earth's axis and the Earth's surface.


  • Less available oxygen to breath than anywhere else- very cold

Other Information

  • Due to the sun only passing overhead twice a year, the poles have no timezones.
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Glaciated Landscapes

  • Active (Currently Glaciated)
  • Relic (Once Glaciated)

Glaciated Landscapes- "Those parts of the Earth's surface that have been shaped, at least in part, by the action of glaciers"

  • High Latitudes- Recieve less solar radiation (sun's energy hits at more of an angle compared to the Equator)
  • High Altitudes- Less of the sun's energy radiated back from the Earth is trapped at higher altitudes- air is thinner making the atmosphere colder.
  • Continentality (far away from the sea)- In winter, the land cools quicker than the sea. Coastal areas are kept warm by the sea in the winter.
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